Fireball SE

App of the Day: Fireball SE

Affordability and ubiquity might be the crucial factors in the success of iOS as a gaming platform, but it's also the sheer immediacy that makes it such an attractive proposition for portable play. I've been spending a lot of time with Vita lately - chiefly thanks to the wonderful Virtua Tennis 4: World Tour Edition - but I'm finding Sony's machine is best-suited to those occasions where I have 10 minutes or more to fill. For those snatched moments of play, the wait for the microwave to ping or the kettle to boil - ah, the perpetual excitement of life as a freelancer - it's my iPod touch that comes out.

Fireball SE is the latest from one-man studio and former hero of Xbox Live Indie Games Luke Schneider (aka radiangames) and it's equally unwilling to waste the player's time. 15 seconds after pressing the app icon you'll be into the action and within around three minutes you'll almost certainly be out of it.

It's very similar in concept to Geometry Wars' Pacifism mode - you move a small, weaponless ship around a rectangular grid, and avoid enemies for as long as you can - except the gates that destroyed enemies in Bizarre's game are replaced by explosives here. You can fly through a bomb to trigger it immediately, or pass close by to briefly delay its detonation and blow up the blobs in hot pursuit. Enemies will relentlessly target your ship, though there are a few that float around aimlessly, and invariably they're every bit as likely as the chasing pack to be the death of you.

Read more